As you plan your marketing strategies for the year ahead, here are some recommendations that you need to know to succeed in the digital world.
With the power of social media, the Millennial audience and digital economy, the marketing industry will need to bolster its online presence in 2016 to reach new levels of engagement.
We’ve already seen innovative campaigns that have shown the millennial impact on the digital economy. For example, the World Wildlife Fund’s #LastSelfie campaign leveraged Snapchat to reach a broader audience and raise awareness about endangered animals – the images only last a few seconds, just like the lives of endangered animals. The campaign proved the heavy influence of the digital economy on brand awareness.
Here are nine big- trends you’ll need to know to dominate in the 2016 digital economy.
1. The Digital Economy Will Greatly Impact Marketing Strategies
Content marketing will evolve with the growth of the digital economy. At the core, it’s all about building trust by providing value first and foremost. That won’t change.
What will evolve is the need and the ability for marketers to track their content marketing campaigns across multiple channels, such as web, email, mobile and social. If brands don’t continue to make compelling content, their customers will find someone else who does.
2. Social Media Will Be Even More Pertinent for Millennials
Perhaps more than any other generation, millennials know right away if companies are being authentic or if they are only trying to sell them something.
Millennials rely heavily on social media so it’s vital to have a social strategy in order. Make a mistake with this audience and they’ll let all of their friends and extended social networks know immediately.
Further, millennials are looking for brands that they identify with, so marketers need to be clear about values and then stay true to them with every action. They’re paying attention.
3. Marketing Budgets Will Be Reshaped
The digital economy will shape budgets in 2016 by allowing brands to have smaller internal content marketing teams and work with subject-matter experts as freelance contributors to content marketing campaigns.
With a clearly defined strategy, a strong managing editor, and ability to manage a group of freelance writers, companies can be successful.
4. SEO and Content Marketing Will Be More Challenging
In 2016 the biggest challenge is going to be getting your content to stand out in an increasingly competitive and saturated market. There is so much content being created that companies need to think of their customer’s needs first and foremost.
It’s important to resist thinking of immediate business needs and making self-centered content. By putting the customer first and solving for their needs, content will naturally rank higher and will more likely be shared and linked to thereby giving a better chance of gaining greater visibility in search results.
Here are more key SEO trends you need to know for 2016.
5. Marketers Will Become More Human
In order to reach new audiences and strengthen SEO in 2016, marketers need to be technical and authoritative subject masters. To do this, they will need to take a more human approach to storytelling.
Marketing is no longer B2B or B2C – it’s People-to-People (P2P). The key is to create a single theme that resonates with business needs, and produce written content with strong visuals.
6. Data Will Further Drive Marketing
With an integrated strategy, marketers will tie in transactional data (e.g., ecommerce), website visits (non-transactional) and mobile app usage to personalize the experience the serve up to users in 2016.
Mobile marketing will continue to gain traction as marketers get a better handle on wrangling this data and sending customized mobile messages to their customers and prospects.
7. Campaigns Will Reach Several Audiences Across Multiple Channels
2016 will be the year when marketers really start looking at how they incorporate (and track) the mobile experience with their marketing strategies. Figuring out how to tie mobile app usage with usage in other channels such as social, email, site, and in-store will be critical for future success.
With so much content being produced today, brands have to make sure that they put quality above quantity. Further, not all content performs the same across all channels, so marketers and brands have to make sure they are putting strategies in place that account for distributing and promoting the right content on the right channels.
8. Brands Will Be More Serious About Mobile Marketing
Brands will need to get serious about integrating mobile into their lifecycle marketing campaigns.
Roughly 90 percent of smartphone users will accomplish some sort of long-term goal (e.g. respond to an offer, engage with a brand’s mobile app, etc.), on their phone.
Brands need to make sure they not only have a mobile presence, but to insert themselves at the right moment and provide information or a service that the user finds valuable.
9. Users Will Engage With Brands on Mobile
Additionally, brands will focus more on onboarding their users via their mobile apps. Mobile usage is showing no signs of slowing down. Your brand needs to elevate its mobile app strategy.
Approximately 40 percent of mobile app users will opt-in for mobile push notifications. As such, brands need to focus on making sure they provide a compelling reason for a user to opt-in immediately upon app launch, as most users abandon an app with 30 seconds never to return again. If they don’t get the onboarding process right, they’ve lost a big opportunity to connect with their customers.
Finally, conversions are an area with significant potential. Even if a brand has a mobile app, they need to make sure that they have a strong, mobile-friendly website.
Most conversion flows have been optimized for browsers on a desktop screen. As such, the shopping cart abandonment rate on mobile is 90 percent, which is scary, but also a great place to look to make a difference in revenue in 2016.
The marketing industry has experienced considerable changes in the last few years due to the heavy influence of the digital economy, and will only continue to transform. The new year will require us to adapt to new technologies to effectively share our customers’ stories, as well as our own branding story. As the industry continues evolving in the digital age, marketing professionals must create innovative campaigns to keep up!